Time Saver, Cost Saver, Super-Sized Fun Activities

Are you looking for activities that will save you time and money but that are big on fun and learning? Let us introduce 3 more activities from our featured series. All materials for the activities can be found at home or purchased in dollar stores.



Freeimages.com / Silvio Mechow

Find a large box with a lid. Cut a square hole in the side and cover loosely with fabric or paper so that the children can’t see what is in the box but can still reach in. Buy pairs of objects with a variety of textures:

  • Small shakers
  • Small stuffed animals
  • Plastic topiary balls (in the gardening section)
  • Paint roller refills
  • Hawaiian leis
  • Small textured silicone mats (used for opening jars)
  • Nail brushes
  • Textured soap dishes
  • Etc.
  1. Place one of each object in the box and one on display. Have each child find an object in the box and describe it without taking it out of the box. The other children can then guess which object their peer is describing and confirm by taking the object out of the box.
  1. To use the box as a tool to stimulate language, have the children take an object out of the box and then talk about the colour, texture, size of the object and also what it might be used for.
  1. Ask the children to match an object in the box with one they see outside the box. This is a more advanced matching game and should be done once children have done the above activities and are familiar with the objects.


Look for placemats with matching coasters that are visually exciting photo enlargements of flowers, fruits, etc…


  1. During a planned group activity, have each child draw a coaster from a surprise bag. Children then look for the child with the matching coaster. These two children will then plan where they will play together for their first activity.
  1. Put placemats in underutilized areas to encourage play. Children with the corresponding coasters begin their play in those areas. Consider having more than 2 matching coasters for play areas that allow for more children.


These activities can help develop fine motor strength and control.

Buy a selection of elastics of various lengths, widths, colours, tension and textures.

Create a pegboard by hammering large head nails into a thick board, evenly spaced, leaving ½ to 1” of the nail showing.

School age children could help create their own pegboard.


  1. Have the children choose from a variety of elastics and stretch them across the tops of the nails.
  1. To provide a more focused activity, the children can be encouraged to repeat patterns or recreate shapes using a variety of elastics. Take photographs of previously created shapes or patterns to be used examples. Children can then repeat the shape or pattern by placing matching elastics on the board.

Ideas and activities provided by the staff from Children’s Integration Support Services and Thursday’s Child Nursery School.